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Amenemhet IV was the son of Senusret III and his sister/wife Sebekshedty-Neferu. He is considered the most remarkable king of the 12th Dynasty. His relationship to his successor is unknown -- Amenemhet may have been a grandson instead of a son. HOwever, his daughter, Sobeknefru rules later in the 12th Dynasty as pharaoh.
Manetho credits him with only eight years, which seem an unlikely short reign for such a productive builder as Amenemhet. It is possible that Manetho's original reign of 48 years that were mistranslated later. Turin shows 40 years, which is a more likely length of time for this king to be on the throne. He the throne with Amenemhet IV for about a year at the end of his reign.
He was responsible for a number of building projects, including finishing the great waterwheels of Fayoum to divert the flood waters of the Nile. He returned almost 154,000 acres of fertile land from the floodplain. Two colossal statues stand facing the lake just south of Fayoum, he built a large temple to Sobek in Crocodilopolis and expanded the temple of Ptah in Memphis. THe fact that he began such an ambitious building policy shows how rich the country had become, and how stable the government was.
He built a first pyramid in Dashur, along with the pyramids of Amenemhet II, Senusret III and Sneferu. The pyramid, called the "Black Pyramid", was built on compacted subsoil instead of bedrock and soon after it was completed it started to crack. It was never used for his burial, although the tombs on the north side of the pyramid were for his family members and one of them may have been used by Hor in the 13th Dynasty.
The Black PYramid was eventually abandoned for a pyramid complex in Hawara. HIs pyramid in Hawara contains a burial chamber that was carved from a single block of stone, some 110 tons in size. LIke the Dashur pyramid, it was a mud brick core sheathed in limestone and set within an enclosure wall that covered some 28,000 square meters, the largest in the Middle Kingdom. THis enormous enclosure is believed to be the fabled Labyrinth, with hundreds of maze-like passages and underground galleries.
Amenemhet III was less warlike than his father. He continued to support the fortresses in Nubia, but he did not continue to advance the southern border of Egypt through military campaigns. He did continue to support Senusret III's policies of limiting the power of the nobility and upper classes, most importantly by rescinding the ability of many royal offices to be inherited by families.
Of course, things had to fail eventually. The end of his reign was marked by a decrease in the annual flood of the Nile. The Nile floods formed the basis for the agricultural and economic success of Egypt. WHen they began to decline, so did the rest of Egypt. The general failure of the 12th Dynasty (and the Middle Kingdom as a whole) began with his reign.
Amenemhet III was worshipped (in the personage of Lameres ) in the Roman Period.
Black Pyramid, Dashur